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Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.

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  MSNBCW    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. Analysis and  
   discussion surrounding political, cultural and community issues. New.  

    February 24, 2013
    7:00 - 9:00am PST  

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talk keystone. plus, i have a panel of constitutional law experts. we are about to talk nerdland style. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. they don't call the supreme court the highest court in the land for nothing. it's the final say over disputes over law in the constitution. with cases on same-sex marriage and voting rights coming before the court, this could prove to be a landmark year. let's start with the big gi. on wednesday, the supreme court will hear arguments in shelby county, alabama versus holder. just in case you were wondering, yes, it's attorney general, eric older the named defendant in the
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case. they are asking the court to review the 2006 decision to reauthorize section five of the voting rights under the 14th and 15th amendments and violated the tenth amendment and article four of the constitution. it may sound like legal mumbo jumbo. nine of the states covered as a whole and most of those in the south to get federal approval before a new election law is imposed. they challenge whether such a provision is necessary. the plaintiffs in the case don't think they need it anymore. oh, really? shelby county, let me remind you why you are one of the state that is were included under section five. you think you have come a long way since 1965, images like this one are forever engrained in the minds of men and women who
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endured police attacks, racism and death for the right to vote. when president johnson signed the law in 1965, americans of color get that right and states, like yours, could not use tactics to undermine it. he explained the importance of section five best on in the speech saying the heart of the act is plain. wherever by clear and objective standards, states and counties are using regulations or laws or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down. it is clear state officials intend to discriminate. the federal examiners will be sent in to register all voters. when the process of elimination is gone, the examiners will be withdrawn. for the first time millions of african-americans could vote without undue influence or violence. let's be honest about a few things. first, 1965 was not that long
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ago. even if the images are in black and white, it's around the corner historically. and the redistricting plan was as recent as 2006. the process that will unravel or sustain a key act begins. the way the supreme court decides is vitally important and could leave many americans, particularly americans of color with less right to vote. there's a lot to unpack in this issue and i am not a lawyer. we went out and got a table full of them to help me out. joining me is sheryl lynn eiffel, president and director of the naacp legal fund. ken is a nerdland favorite, the chief justice professor of constitutional law at nyu law school. he didn't just spring forth from
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a rock. here is his adviser, professor of law at yale university and nick. there's not one way to read the law. here we all are. thank you so much. i have been trying to convince my producers. it made sense to have an insider discussion that allows us to have a broad conversation about what we are facing in this court. let's start with section five. akeel, second five is about the power of congress to do something vis-a-vis the state. is that what this is about? >> exactly. the objection is, in part, you are singling out states to jump through federal hoops. the irony is the very process by what the 14th amendment the constitution was because they
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had rights rk voting rights and other rights, democratic rights in the process the 14thnd 15th amendments. certain states were required to jump through special hoops. the same states covered by section five of the voting act that echoes poetically the process by which the 14th and 15th amendments became part of the constitution. i have a little piece. it's harvard law review online. it's the lawfulness of section five of the 14th amend. . >> i have it in front of me. i read it last night and this morning which is why there's coffee on it. the piece -- the sentence i wanted to pull from it, i wanted to ask you about anymore. this general announcement supports broad congressional power to administer strong and selective medicine to individual
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states with sorry democratic with a little "d" employed by section five. we have pres denlt for this decision. on the other side, folks are saying nope, you can't single out states and counties. >> let's not forget there's second two of the voting act right as well. it prohibits racial discrimination in the voting context. section five is and always has be be beena remedy. frankly, as bad as things may be in certain areas, we are nowhere near the discrimination of the jim crow era. certainly, it's an extraordinary remedy today. >> it's an interesting point. it feels to me like saying, my blood pressure medicine is working so well, i'm going stop taking it.
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it's clearly section five because it doesn't require -- second two prohibits discrimination but requires somebody to bring a case. section five puts on ownous on the discriminator themselves. >> there's no other statute wu apply this standard. we don't say because people are aware of gender discrimination. the law certainly has made it better. there has been progress. we have admitted it. the court admitted it. everyone's admitted there's progress. there's still a need. it's what congress focused on in 2006. it's incorrect to pretend we are revolting from 1965. congress looked at what has been happening in the states covered by section five to determine if it's needed. >> part of what i loved about reread thg stuff is jeff
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sessions. 98 members of the senate voted to reauthorize. no member didn't. jeff sessions of alabama, whose voice sounds to me like seg inauguration. i know that's unfair. he voted to reauthorize the voting rights act. >> i think bouncing off her point here, i think the clam on the other side is like they are using an elephant gun to kill a mouse. 1965, there were actual elephants now there aren't elephants. the progressive side is saying there are elephants out there. as evidence of the fact there are, let me point you to and this gets to the congressional deference point. 15,000 pages of record congress produced for the 2006 renewal. 26 hearings. how much deference does the court have to give to congress? they didn't say we are going rubber stamp it and move on? the additional argument has to
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be there may be elephants here, but they are not just in the covered jurisdictions. impeerically, we can show the elephants are more likely in the covered jurisdictions than uncovered. addition nally, the statute itself gives a bailout prediction that allows them that have a clean nose to opt out. >> and the bail in. >> it goes both waits, right. >> if a jurisdiction isn't covered, it can get put in. we update, basically, the data base and look at the law every few years. it sunsets. not just 98 to 0 in the senate and overwhelmingly the house signed by republican presidents an epic statute adopted with a signature of that president. >> it was an extraordinary remedy in the 1960s and still remains extraordinary because our constitution was meant to be color blind.
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a portion of this act -- >> come on now, our constitution was absolutely not meant to be color blind. if we are honest about the initial document, it is many things. color blind is not one of them. it is a living document, a document that allows us to become more perfected over time. that initial document that renders my ancestors is certainly not color blind. >> i'm take thg after the 14th amendment. they say, this is a color blind document. it's taken 100 years to get to a point we are at now. >> congress has power and four other amendments say that. congress, not the court, congress gets to make the call. it also says in the process of being adopted, it's okay for congress to treat some states differently than other states if they have bad democratic track record. it's built into the 14th amend
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mtd. >> we know it is because it comes at a time when we are talking about states that didn't just have a bad track record, but left. everybody stay here. we have the whole hour. i'm going to bring in barbara next. you know when she gets here, nerdland gets hot. when we come back. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. current events. comfortable temperature.
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well, wednesday marks the first voting right case the supreme court will hear. it's not the only one. they will hear arguments later in arizona versus intertribal council march 18th. it pertains to proof of citizenship requirement violates the voter registration act.
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that's not all. there's a potential third case that has yet to be scheduled. texas versus u.s. or some call it texas versus holder. it is whether the district ruled the plan violated section five of the voting act. joining my panel is barbara, president and executive director of lawyers. a group representing individuals in these cases. >> good to see you. >> it's a pleasure to be here. >> we have been talking about shelby, but talk about the arizona case. >> the arizona case is fascinating. many people remember in 1993, congress passed the motor voter act for the national voter registration act. part of the purpose of that act is to make sure that for federal elections there would be a uniform registration process. it delegated authority to the commission to set up a registration form, which it did.
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unfortunately, in 2004, arizona passed a law that added its own requirements requiring proof of citizenship in addition and above to those from the federal form. they thought that wasn't enough. they wanted more. and we, of course, objected on behalf of our clients because this placed a special burden on people in arizona versus the burdens placed on people in other states. it's unlawful, unconstitutional and contrary to the intent of a statute and federal law should preimpt a state law. they knew it when they passed it. this should not be a hard case. >> let me pop to the panel. i want to ask about the point barbara made about the federal law autoto preempt the state laws. we have a little bit of evidence
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from how they decided the affordable care act case which narrowed the commerce law piece. is this basically a state's right court? >> at the end of the day, chief justice roberts with an eye toward history avoided a partisan ruling, invalidating this. and i think the four democrat appointees, liberals on the court, justices kagan and sotomayor are in a solidly thickened favor of strong federal protection of voting rights. they only need one from the other side. the other side has to fill in. on many occasions, justice kennedy crossed over. chief justice roberts, very dramatically in the obama care case. i'm optimistic we can get justice thomas because they claim teap realists. i think nick gave us a good
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reminder. our constitution is not just the founding document, it's as amended. the right to vote, 14, 15, 19, 26 and -- >> 24. >> thank you. every single one of them says congress should have power to enforce this. >> yeah. >> so, there is broad tradition in our amendments of congressional protection of voting rights. >> barbara, let me come back to you. there's a third case that doesn't yet have a date. it's the texas versus u.s. why doesn't it have a date yet? >> well, no one really knows. it may be that the court is waiting to see what it does in other cases. we just don't know. i don't think we should speculate on it. what's important for people to know about the case is this is the case that follows the redistricting in 2010 in texas where the state gave four congressional districts mainly
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because 98% of this population increase was due to latinos in that state and drew four new districts that were all white in essence. that split and packed and cracked the latino vote so that people of latino heritage would not be able to elect the candidate of their choice. we represent the mexican-american caucus that said it's absolutely on constitutional and violates section five. it's just not, you know, good for this country. guess what? the court held that that action by the texas legislature through all those districts in a way no person of latino heritage could be elected by candidates of their choice. that district, that court held that action by the state was purposefully discriminatory. they did it for a discriminatory
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purpose. they redrew the districts and now there is a district in which latino candidates can be elected by latino population. >> sheryl i want to ask you about this because we have been talking agent the voter's rights but the other half is representatives, representatives of color to get elected. when we hear stack pack and crack, they are terms of how they are drawn. >> the texas redistricting feeds into the earlier conversation about title five. they haven't been found to violate the rights of minorities, something they do consistently. it's old news. there's a question about what does section five do that is valuable and important. we have section two to cover the country. you pointed out you have to bring a suit. congress made the decision we want to stop discrimination before it happens.
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let me give you a quick example. you mentioned a city in shelby county. we don't need the voting rights act. as a result of section two litigation they created council districts. a black representative was elected for 20 years. suddenly, as a result of the redistricting, they reduced the black population from 70% to 29%. they don't pre-clear it. they go ahead with the election. the justice department has to do an enforcement action to stop them from undermining the minorities to elect. it happened in 2008, not 1965. >> this is not ancient history. bar brarks i'm going to give you the last ten seconds because i know you have a call to rally to protect voting rights happening on the steps of the supreme court. >> the civil rights community because of cases being held are
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heard on february 27th, this coming wednesday. they have called for people around the country to come and to show their support for the voting rights act and not surprisingly people are interested, very determined. we understand what's at stake here. as americans, we know that the fight here is opened a future to this country. it's over weather or not we are going to power, share or power hold illegally. so, the fight is about our making sure that, you know, that this act, the voting rights act has the teeth and the ability to prevent discrimination. imagine, according to the congressional record, over 2,2100 plus violations of voting rights acts occurred. if every one of those went to court, what would our country look like? think of the tension, the
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horror, the money. this is why section five is beautiful. it prevents discrimination and keeps our country solidly in its goals. that's where we have the country. we must fight for the future. barbara will bring the fire, no matter how long she has. that's why we love having you as a guest. thank you so much barbara in washington, d.c. speaking of where we are going as a country and how fair we are going to be, up next, money and politics. the supreme court has a lot on its docket. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
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forever changed how that choice can be influenced. citizens united opened the flood gates of the come pain contributions we saw in the 2012 election. flood gates that brought $5.2 billion, that's $5.2 billion. it was just 32 super pac donors giving $9.9 million that were able to match the $13 million that small donors gave to president obama and romney combined. it took 3.7 million to race that $313 million as compared to 32 megadonors what kept the super pacs rolling. they each gave $1 million or more to comprise $91.8 million.
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that's how much just one couple gave to super pacs in the last election cycle, making sheldon and marian the two largest donors. in spite of that, they spent 37%. less than one-half of 1% of their net worth. to put that into perspective, if the average middle class family with a net worth of $77,300 made that contribution, it would be $285. 322,000 middle american citizens have to donate to have a voice. shaun mccutcheon $33,088 was what he gave. he wanted to give more but was constrained. he sued. the supreme court agreed to hear
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the case. it's a case that could finish what citizens united started, bringing me to this number, zero. that's what could become of campaign limits if the court uses the case to open the flood gates of money further. back with my panel when we come back. ental ] [ girl ] when i started playing soccer, i wasn't so good. [ barks ] so me and sadie started practicing. we practiced a lot. now i've got some moves! [ crowd cheering ] spin kick! whoo-hoo! [ giggling ] [ announcer ] we know how important your dog is to your whole family. so help keep him strong and healthy... with the total care nutrition in purina dog chow. because you're not just a family. you're a dog family.
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thanks mom! see ya! whoaa...oops! mom? i'm ok. grandma? hi sweetie! she operates the head. [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right. sky is the limit is the phrase that could deskrip our approach to campaign finance. he's a businessman and conservative activist wants to uncork the amount of money you can spend on candidates. under federal law, no one person can give more than $2500 to a single candidate in an election or 31800 to a party. this is the scalia and thomas
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free speech argument that they should not be limited. >> absolutely. look, agate limits on contributions, there's no justification for limiting the amount of money a person can spend to project his message during an election other than to eliminate money on an election. they said it's an illegitimate purpose. there's no way under current precedent that these limits on contributions will be sustained. not only that, it's a good thing. we are talking about speech. it takes physical things to engage and project your message with an audience. that means money. the more money involved, the more speech we have. as much as someone may disagree with the expenditures, which is more dangerous, the government
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throddling speech. >> on this one, i am more conflicted than i am on voting rights in part because i think money has a way to influence politics but also as much as 2012 told me there was lots of tinkering happening around voting rights, for all that money, they only bought the status quo, at least at the national level. tell me why there is a reason to tl throttle speech. >> this goes back to 1976 case. in there, the court said with respect to expenditures which is what citizens united was about, money is more like speech. therefore, we are going to subject those to scrutiny and
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congress is going to be less likely to -- it's really important not to let all the political hoopla around citizens united trickle to this case. it's a separate issue. with the contributions, you can limit them because there's too much of a threat of corruption. it's not there's too much money in politics. this is a rational. i can lay so much money at your doorstep and to this point about aggregate limits. this is the strongest argument. i agree with that. it's to say the independent limits, the individual limits are i can only give so much to a particular candidate. it's not being challenges. what we are seeing challenged is the aggregate limit. am i blocked from giving to everyone at this table or capped out at a certain amount. >> i get this. >> the argument still is there.
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>> this is useful to me to think about expenditures and contributions. make that argument back. >> it's critical, the cap on the total amount of money i can contribute and the cap on how much i can give to a person. there's no opportunity for the argument. there's no opportunity for anticorruption purpose if what i'm doing is being prevented from giving more money to other people. the bottom line is -- >> let me back up. i want to be sure folks understand this. if we are talking a $2600 cap on each individual lawmaker, but now spread it over more lawmakers and organizations, what you are saying is there's no corruption argument. the individual is still making, casting the vote in congress. >> it's the strongest argument. a libertarian who is no friend of campaign contributions said
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it's the argument. if you give that amount of money to all these people and they, in turn, send it back to one individual, the individual, say it all goes to you, you know where to lay the wreath of gratitude. >> in speech, you can't have measure upon measure. they can't protect one corruption by regulating another area of speech and so forth. it's a principle that is at least as recently as wisconsin right to life. the bottom line is aggregate caps on contributions have nothing to do with it. there is no question of buying a vote when you are being capped off and prevented from giving any and all money to somebody else. the real purpose of this is manifestly to throttle back the amount of money for speech. >> this one is challenging
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because we talk the principle. the principle sounds reasonable on both sides, but the effects feel so enormous and measurable and impericle on the ground. >> your audience might find interesting the book where public lost. it talks about the way the system itself gets bent away from one person, one vote, the independence of the government upon the people and the electorate into $1, one vote. how much time -- most of our lawmakers spend most of their time on the phone dialling for dollars. that krucorrupts the system. there are other ways of campaign finance reform. they are not my ideas, but they are brilliant. free access to television and public financing. one idea is to pay voters to bone up on the issues.
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take a day, two weeks before come election. go not 30 seconds but talk with the fellow citizens. >> how much do i love that college professor and the likely idea of paying for homework. how the president is trying to influence the robert's court. it's not with dollars, when we come back. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking.
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it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. i've always kept my eye on her... but with so much health care noise, i didn't always watch out for myself. with unitedhealthcare, i get personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. full of beautiful highlights and lowlights. that's why nice'n easy builds dimension into every shade. so here's a challenge: love the gorgeous dimension of nice'n easy or we'll pay for a salon color. take the salon challenge, from nice'n easy. on friday, president barack obama's administration weighed in big time on the issue of marriage i quality. they were asked to strike down section three of the marriage act. the act defined marriage as between one man and one woman. section three denies the
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benefits to sake-excouples. the significance is huge. it's the first time a u.s. president weighed in in support of same-sex marriage in a supreme court. in this case, the united states versus windsor is heard thursday, march, 27. hol lynns worth v. perry, a link that california's prop 8 which created a state amendment prohibiting marriage was unconstitutional because it takes away rights for same-sex couples. we don't know how to court will rule, one thing is certain, march will be an important month on the road to marriage equality. this is your road house. let's start with the prop 8 case. what are the arguments here? >> basically, it's a right to marry argument and equal protection argument. the court will likely go with the equal protection argument. it gives it more options.
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essentially, i don't want to see it as either zero states or 50 states. a one state proceed ural says you are not the right people to bring it to court. kicks it back to california. sake sex marriage comes back to california. you can't give a right then take away the right. that third part gets left out. it should remain. it would be a ruling. it would affect all 50 states but california is the only state that has given the right and took away the right. i should say entitlement. the eight state solution is the most interesting and underreported one. there are eight states currently that give same-sex couples the benefits and rights of marriage. the court could say why would
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you with hold only the word unless trying to make second class citizens. the corporation is saying you are tarnishing the brand and you cannot unless you are less than. that would be an incremental solution between the one state solution. >> before -- what's interesting to me here is having just talked voting rights and the angst we have with the state's rights around voting rights, here in the case of marriage equality, all of a sudden being able to bring forward state's rights is the progressive position. >> absolutely. this is what makes me tear my hair out a bit. >> sure. >> all of these conservative justices have been saying to us in case after case beginning with 1995 case of lopez and morrison in 2000. family law is state law. congress should stay out of traditional state domains because they are traditional.
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for them to turned around and say doma is constitutional is bizarre. >> right. is this what will hinge on or turn on ultimately? >> just to remind the audience, there are two cases. doma is federal and the california case. stepping way back, regardless of what happens this month and this year, we are going to have gay marriage in america in all 50 states in our lifetime, indeed within the next five to ten years because the demographics are so dramatically shifting as evidence by president obama's issue on this in one direction, an arc of history bending toward justice. once enough states do this on their own, which they will, the supreme court will nationalize it, even if it doesn't do it this year. once enough states do it on their own and other states have to recognize marriages
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solemnized in places where it's legal just as people today can get fast divorces in nevada. people today, regardless of where they live can go to massachusetts and we will very quickly move to a 50-state solution even if we don't do it this year. >> i guess the very thing that makes me nervous is the idea of justice delayed, justice denied. before mrs. perry comes and has to pay an estate tax. i think, you know, we are going to watch this closely. there is a question on the one hand, i want to be careful it's coming. there's the question of justice now. all right. when we come back, more on the question of justice now. we are going to talk about affirmative action and the ruling that could change it forever. watch this -- alakazam! ♪
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supreme court may be presiding over big cases this year, but the case with the biggest buzz may be the one they have already heard. in october of last year, the court heard arguments in fisher versus the university of austin. i questions the university's use of race in undergraduate admissions. it could save or end affirmative action as we know it. this one for me is, you know, deeply personal because i'm on a college campus. specifically, this could be decided very, very narrowly or very, very broadly. what are you expecting from this case? >> i'm expecting that unfortunately, a plan to be invalidated, a test that was set forth in a case called gruter in 2006 to be stiffened. justice o'connor was replaced by
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justice alito. the fifth person is justice kennedy, who has been more skeptical of race-based affirmative action. what he may do is say this one goes too far. it's possible some uses of race may be okay. this goes too far. the most sweeping could be not ruling in theory, not only can state universities not take race into account, but private universities get funds. all private schools governed by the same rule. that would be an earthquake. >> he's describing what could be a terrible and perfect storm. back up for a second. he described the case six years ago. it's true, a key member of the court left the bench. >> agan is rekuzed. >> yes. i think that was kind of an important moment. but, you know, i think this court has questions about itself
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as an institution it has to answer in this decision. does it want to take the step of reversing a decision this court issued in 2006. it thought affirmative action was needed for another 25 years. that's what makes me think the more cautious, more narrow view may be in play. i'm not convinced that justice kennedy is ready overturn it. i think he's got concerns. we saw it in oral argument. i remain optimistic the court will understand it set itself on a course that universities all over the country followed. it's a matter of institutional integrity and a matter of what the future of america looks like. the reality is no matter what, affirmative action has been the engine that's created spaces all over the country. >> nick you are enthusiasenthus. you are both optimistic for
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different reasons. >> it was a radical decision. for the first time ever, the scrutiny process deemed a compelling state interest to be diversity. i mean this is the same form of scrutiny given to guantanamo detainees or yelling fire in a theater and the compelling interest articulated for the first time ever with no foundation in any prior case or history was diversity. i think it demeans the standard. >> wait a minute. it's interesting because we are having this conversation. what the court said is that the court should defer to the first amendment academic freedom of institutions to make the decision of how to construct and compose classes for the purpose of educating leaders -- >> government institutions. >> indeed. >> 100 years ago. it is finally coming true.
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it will be a color blind institution. >> where are your markers for this. we are talking color blindness. >> we know color blindness leads to a monochromatic classroom. we are seen it in california and other places. the university of texas has a different formulation for creating a different classroom. >> very narrow. the 10% rule. >> the problem with the 10% rule is that it gives us a stake in residential segregation. >> that's what makes it work. >> the reason it works -- >> color blindness there. the reason it works is because we don't live in a color blind society. what it does is excludes from inclusion african-americans who go to private schools. >> it does not end state racism. >> i'm going to give you the last word on this.
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>> it was 2003, not 2006. the diversity rational was not made out of the whole cloth. it goes all the way back to the first affirmative action case, 1978. so, what he does -- let's be clear for the audience at home because i think your comment may have given a misimpression whether you intended it or not, diversity is not a long standsing threat. all the affirmative action cases through metro broadcasting, it gets over ruled all the way through. so, it's a rational. the reason it's not tested under strict scrutiny is the case where it's ushered in in 1995. you may believe that, but i think there's a big difference. you are making it sound like strict scrutiny was a rule aa a
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the way around. they held that it was met by this diversity rational. we can debate it -- we can debate. >> we won't get it fixed here. what i hope is folks at home in nerdland, what i'm hope sg that you feel like maybe this is what we want, at least our supreme court to be doing. we hope the conversations are at least as engaged as the beautiful things we just heard here. thank you. nick is going to be back later in the show. next, the civil rights legend at the sender of a showdown. there's more nerdland at the top of the hour. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. how did i know? well, i didn't really. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor.
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since day one, president obama put climate change on the top of his agenda as we heard in his inaugural address. >> we will respond to the threat of climate change knowing the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. some deny the overwhelming judgment of science. none can avoid the devastating impact of fires and crippling drought, more powerful storms. >> yet, one of the first decisions president obama will make on environmental issues may be to approve an expansive energy project that would have devastating effects on the climate. it would connect canada to american refineries around houston and the gulf of mexico. it would deliver 700,000 barrels of heavy crude oil into the country allowing production at
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canada to explode and emit what activists are calling a carbon bomb. extraction of crude oil from tar sands is a dirty process. if it goes forward, it could release into our atmosphere two times the amount of carbon dioxide burned in all the oil used throughout our entire history. in fact, one of the country's climate scientists from nasa said, building the keystone pipeline would be game over for the climate. which, of course, means game over for us. we live in the climate. so, approval of the pipeline appeared imminent but was delayed. now the proposal is back on the president's desk. technically, it is the jurisdiction of the state department to decide. president obama has the unique singular authority to decide. republicans were calling on the president to rubber stamp it.
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mila whiley is here and josh fox and francis president of the national resources events counsel. i want to start with you. often we hear the president is constrained by congress, by all the other forces he's facing. in this case, this is the president's call. >> yes, it is. the president has to decide whether this is in the national interest. the state department is going to do the environmental review. it's completed and on the president's desk. it is his decision to decide whether this is in the national interest or not. it's not because of the climate of locations that you just described. >> the claim, josh, there are jobs. the national interest is a short term interest based on jobs. how do we balance this game over for the climate next to jobs? >> there are more jobs in the energy sector. what i want to say is i come
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into this not as a lifelong environmental campaigner, but a person in the area invided by the fossil fuel industry. when you are in the sights of the national gas industry or if you are in the line of the keystone xl, or in appalacia where they are blowing up mountains. it's extreme enery. you can no longer tap and get oil. you are fracturing rocks and scraping off the entire surface to get at this energy. this is a moment, actually, the president can take bold leadership and say, you know what? we cannot allow more and more of the environment and now with the climate, everybody is a member of the front line community. >> as you describe that, this extreme energy development, part of this is a fundamental,
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ethical moral decision. if a resource exists, does it belong to us, humans, to do with it as we want or does it belong to the earth? part of it is yes, there's oil there. it doesn't mean it's ours. it might belong to the earth itself. >> it's interesting, i got a tweet before coming on the show from someone who said this is a devine resource given to us. therefore, it's our devine right to use it. i think it's one thing to say, i think it's important to see the divinity of this resource. the planet is part of thoo and people are as well. if you actually look -- does that mean we use it in a way that exhausts it and destroys? i think that's the frame we are talking about. when you look at what's happening in native populations around the oil sands and the tar sands, we have seen incredible jumps in cancer rates, deformed fish. we are not talking extracting a
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resource that exists. we are talking the impacts on people's lives when we do it the way we are doing it and the great and tremendous health risks. >> i think what's happening is we have a choice as a country, are we going to go down a clean energy pathway that addresses climate change that we are seeing in new york? we had hurricane sandy and her honor here that was on the front lines of that or go down a pathway we have been on for 100 years and causing more and more and more devastation across the world, not just across the united states. in is a leadership moment for the president. to say i am going to step forward and make -- act on climate principle and we are not going to continue down that pathway. >> it feels to me like the lbj moment. johnson at that moment of the 64 civil rights act has to make the decision in signing 64 civil rights and 65 voting acts he's going to give away the south to
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the democratic party. he does so because of what it means for the country. that feels like who the president is called to. it is not easy. i don't want to make it small in that sense. politically, our time horizon is much shorter. i live in new orleans. i saw bp. we all saw it. >> the fourth piece of this extreme energy is deep water drilling. we were drilling into water into depths that are uncontrollable. you saw what happened, the devastating effects. that's part of the other thing, there's no accountability or long term planning for when disaster occurs. with these forms, it's a conclusion that you are going to have absolutely environmental ruin. what's happening now is whether they are coming from fracking or from removal or the gulf or climate change is this incredible movement of people. i toured the country with bill who really is to be credited
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with these keystone protests. we had thousands of people at every location. 50,000 people in washington, d.c. on what was the coldest day of the year. this is what i'm seeing over and over again. extreme energy moves into these places in america. you get all of the above resis tense to this strategy. >> the harris poll about support for the keystone pipeline. this is part of your question about whether or not we see a movement. we have 69% of americans support the keystone pipeline. that feels to me in part because they may not have clear information about what the consequences are of building it. >> going back to the point about the president and the political position he's in right now. one thing that makes it different from the '64 civil rights act of johnson, it's a moral dilemma. part of the problem is the notion of scarcity. we are in a frame of scarcity. we have so many people who need
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jobs. we are in part where our economy is not recovered from a tremendous recession. where the president rightly used, as an opportunity to try to rebuild the economy, invest in renewable energy, which is incredibly important. now, trying to figure out how in the context of incredible, real pain that real people are feeling on the job market, most of how people are seeing keystone is in this frame of jobs. jobs, jobs, jobs. >> you end up with 69% of the people supporting. >> the part of the conversation that's not happening to your point about information is if we invest, it's 1.9 million jobs compared to 20,000 keystone will create. what are the jobs going to produce in terms of our communities? i would rather see the energy that ensures our kids aren't getting cancer and asthma rates are not increasing and that, you know, one of the biggest contributors to the deficit is health care costs. when you think of the big
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problems we are trying to solve in the country, we are not talking about whether or not keystone is good or bad for 20,000 jobs. the impact on health, communities and environment and whether there are better solutions. >> with more jobs. we are going to stay on this issue with everyone at the table and also with julian bond who got arrested on this issue. i want to ask him why when we are back. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains. that's why i recommend polident. [ male announcer ] cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. who emailed it to emily, who sent it to cindy, who wondered why her soup wasn't quite the same. the recipe's not the recipe... ohhh. [ female announcer ] ...without swanson. the broth cooks trust most when making soup. mmmm! [ female announcer ] the secret is swanson.
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is it possible that one single issue could bring tens of thousands of farmers, american indians, celebrities and civil rights activists together? it's what happened sunday when a coalition filled the national mall in washington, d.c. in what activists are calling the biggest climate change rally in
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u.s. history. it's become a central organizing issue for activists. leading the most influential organization to lift the 120 year ban on civil disobedience. dozens were arrested for acts of non-violent protests. one of those was julian bond, who helped found the coordinating committee civil rights organizationization. she has faced the consequences of activism in movie theaters and lunch counters. joining us from washington, d.c. is julian bond, chairman of the naacp. nice to see you. >> pleasure to be here. thanks for having me on. >> hearing you had been arrested, i thought this was an interesting moment. it wasn't over an obvious civil rights issue, but clearly there's a coalition mere who is
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beginning to understand this environmental question as a civil rights issue. >> it is a civil rights issue. people are affected by it more than other people in the country. the naacp whose board i used to chair has been on this issue for almost decades. any american who is cognizant of the weather and them, we flooded the biggest city in the country, we had the hottest year in history last year. i mean how can you deny these things are happening and need to be stopped? >> i want to ask you, this trade off between the idea of jobs for communities that are economically deprived and at a disadvantage. on the other hand, the environment meant that communities of color and poor communities have been set over and against the air they breathe and the water they drink. >> exactly. we'll give you the jobs if you
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put up with the trash. that's really a false choice. we heard on the panel just now that the economy will create many, many thousands of jobs while the pipeline will produce few. it's an easy choice for most people to make. i look forward to the long term. it's better to go with the green world rather than the awful world that promises to come if we continue in the current path. >> let's pull out to the panel for a minute. it's not just about american citizens. there's a whole canadian question here. >> i was adopted by the blood tribe, the largest reserve in canada. their reserve was leased out to fracking to frac gas to send to the tarzans to boil down these sands, right? using enormous amounts of gas and water to get the oil and pipe it to american refineries, one is in pennsylvania where
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they are flaring off the gas. it's wasteful and destroying people's communities. in warren, pennsylvania or on the blood reserve in alberta or further north where the tarzans are, this is devastating. we are not talking canada. we are talking multi-national oil companies that have no borders, they have no allegiances to nations. we are just in the way of their business model. when their business model is destroying a neighborhood, they are going to counter resist it. >> transcanada and company wants to bring the pipeline to the united states. the pipeline to the west, the gateway pipeline against british columbia is blocked by canadian citizens and first nations. pipelines to the east are not accessible either. the united states is the vehicle to carry the canadian oil to export through the gulf of mexico. what is in there for the united states? not a lot. i think that's where the president has a real opportunity
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to take a very principled action and say climate is one of the most devastating things this country faces and i'm going to act to deny it. >> it's based on the belief americans are unattached to questions of green politics that you can build it straight through us. there's high quality opposition in canada. >> there's good high quality opposition here. >> that's what we are beginning to see. >> not only the people in washington, d.c., but the people across the route. the farmers, the ranchers, the people in texas chaining themselves to the pipeline. the people in the refineries. there's widespread opposition to this. >> i want to come back to you for a moment. the question of how you build the coalition seems to be difficult in part because a lot of this coalition, which is going to be built to pressure president obama is dir riveed from the base. this is the crux of the work the
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naacp always had to do. how do you say to a friend in the white house, somebody on board with your agenda, on this thing i oppose you and need you to do better? >> you say it like you are doing. i oppose you and need you to do better and expect you to do better. you mention this in your inaugural speech, you leaned in this direction. you have done impressive things in the environment. do this one thing. we are asking you to keep on the record you are establishing for yourself to future generations say barack obama was great on the environment, we are lucky to have had him. he saved the country for us, he saved the world for us. that's the appeal we are making. we believe you feel as we do, that the right thing to do is say no to this pipeline. this is not a pipeline to america, this is a pipeline through america. it does nothing for us. it does great things for the oil company. >> i was going to say i think one of the important things we need to talk about when we talk
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communities of color, we have to talk about the solutions that take the fastest growing segment of the country. communities of color in this country are very soon going to be half of the country. when we look at the solutions that we have, one of the things we need president obama and congress to do is pay attention to how we invest in local scale renewable energy solutions that communities of color innovate. one of the things happening as we invest in renewable energy and a stimulus is it didn't pay attention enough to how we have to actually look at doing it differently given how communities of color have been excluded from investment opportunities. in boston, there were advocates that recognized homeowners in boston were not going to be able to weatherize their homes because there weren't weatherization companies nearby. community of color work they were trying to organize the
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cooperative that would create a model where they are doing the home weatherization. >> it gives an opportunity for entrepreneurship. >> jobs and efficiency. >> jobs and innovation and ownership. i want you to lead us in this on the point i don't know if we have clearly driven home enough. this is in fact, dangerous. we have reasons to believe -- we have seen spills. this is an actual danger. >> for all the things obama said in his state of the union address. you cannot be talking about climate change. at the same time, approve the pipeline. in the same way, you are seeing this contradiction happening for andrew cuomo as well. you have the governor talking climate change and opening new york to the largest fossil fuel experience in history. they are in a bind. the truth is, it's a moment for bold leadership. you have to say we are going to take a break from the past and do all these thing that is make
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sense like develop renewable energy, get jobs for the future, not the dirty jobs of the past. >> i want to say thank you so much julian bond for joining us. >> thank you. >> particularly for bold leadership. there's no face i would rather have on set when talking about the possibility of leadership. you have a personal and organizational history of doing that. >> thank you. that's kind of you. thank you. >> thank you to josh and francis. maya is going to stick around for a while longer. up next, the one-year anniversary of the moment that sparked international outrage. ae to the mandible and contusions to the metacarpus. what do you see? um, i see a duck. be more specific. i see the aflac duck. i see the aflac duck out of work and not making any money. i see him moving in with his parents and selling bootleg dvds out of the back of a van. dude, that's your life. remember, aflac will give him cash to help cover his rent, car payments and keep everything as normal as possible. i see lunch. [ monitor beeping ] let's move on. [ male announcer ] find out what a hospital stay could really cost you
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by wade michael page in wisconsin and the horrors of sandy hook elementary school in connecticut where adam lanza gunned down 20 children and 16 childrens is fresh in our minds. those shootings captivated the country instantly when they happened. the shooting that took place a year ago tuesday was relatively unknown at first. a single death, not a planned massacre, but an altercation gone horribly wrong. it almost escaped national attention given police didn't make an arrest. one year ago this tuesday marked the day that george zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin and one year later, we await his trial. we have made a point on this program of not litigating the case against zimmerman on television. we are going to leave it to the courts. by no means am i suggesting a link between trayvon, aurora,
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oak creek, sandy hook or pendleton or to the 2,200 plus people killed with a gun in this country since the massacre at sandy hook. certainly, an altercation between two individual that is ends in death is different from a shooting in a theater or a temple or school. it's different from city street violence, different from domestic violence. there is one thing. in each and every case, if the assailant has not had a gun, the victims could not have been shot. ♪
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and used tighten those restrictions. not all those proposals answer more gun deaths with more gun regulations. though, there are some of those who opt to respond to more gun deaths with more guns. lawmakers in arizona, california, oklahoma, south dakota and tennessee are considering legislation that puts guns in hands of teachers and other school employees. 200 teachers in utah took advantage of allowing guns in schools and signed themselves up for training. a bill that eliminates the requirement to carry a gun. montana is considering allowing students to carry firearms on campuses. lawmakers advanced a bill that would eliminate all penalties for carrying concealed weapons in bars and restaurant that is serve alcohol. sorry, i shouldn't laugh.
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the philosophy of maximum guns is best summed up by the rifle association's leader, wayne lapierre when he said this. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> all right. back with me is civil rights attorney, maya whiley, new york university professor, nick and former staffer for new york mayor mike bloomberg now against gun violence, dena, is that correct? got it. i am bad at people's names. i want to start with you. i spent some time last night and this morning reading this text reducing gun violence in america and mayor bloomberg wrote the forward to the text making the claim it is all gun violence. suicide rates here in new york. not only do we keep people from being killed in homicides with
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guns, we have lower gun suicide rates. once you don't have a gun you can't shoot anybody. it feels like a basic argument. >> it's absolutely true. the statistics bear that out. states that have universal background checks or stronger background check laws have half the suicides than states that don't have those laws in place. almost 40% of women -- 40% fewer women are shot and killed by intimate partners in states with better background check laws. states with better background check laws are less frequently used in crimes. there's definitely a huge body of evidence to support that notion. >> on the one hand, there's a huge body of evidence. on the other hand, there's a simple reality, if i open up my constitution, there's a second amendment. that amendment largely has been understood through our supreme court to say you have an
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individual right to own a gun. >> absolutely. look, that doesn't mean there can't be some reasonable regulation anymore than there can be some reasonable regulation of speech in the first amendment. this is a constitutional right. the supreme court is looking to the original meaning and scope to determine where it applies and we can't go willy nilly with banning guns. a background check could pass muster. >> what do you think? is the second amendment actually a hindrance to making reasonable gun policy in this country? >> i think it is. i'm basically with nick on this one. after 2008 and 2010 when the supreme court handed down a pair of rulings saying there was an individual right to bear arms against the federal government, the 2010 ruling applied the right against the states. justice scalia is really clear as a matter of constitutional
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law saying that this isn't meant to prohibit reasonable regulation. all that said, there is a floor that the right protects. sometimes i think that floor is unreasonable. this is now my view on why it was wrongly decided. the idea there is that, you know, the second amendment says that right to bear arms is connected to the maintenance of a regulated militia. the question is whether or not the law regulated militia is restricted or descriptive. i lost that one. the 2008 claw says it's descriptive, not meant to be a precondition. >> so, on the one hand there's a question of what we have a right to do. on the other hand, a question of what is prudent to do. we hear wayne lapierre saying you have to arm the good guys, right? one of the good guys was
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supposed to arm our teachers. i have to say, as a college professor, if my students could carry guns, we would no longer have debate over inflation. everyone would have as. beyond that, students and teachers should be carrying guns. i immediately was thinking of alabama. she came in and shot all her colleagues after not receiving tenure. we can't assume certain positions necessarily mean that you are the good guy, right? in any given context, the teacher might be the bad guy. >> i'm going to start in in conversation as a mother. i am not sending my child to a school where people who have their jobs not subject to any psychological evaluation, by the way, nor carrying a gun with any particular training are going to be in a classroom with my child. i'm not doing it. >> we don't even let teachers paddle students anymore. >> the idea that our kids are
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going to be safer because there are a bunch of guns inside the school is just insane. if you actually look at the research, what it shows from home invasions is that, you know, the more you introduce a gun into the scenario, the more likely the guns are going to be used. unless we want video games becoming what is happening inside the schools, people getting in gun battles, i don't think it's a solution. i think the solution is to figure out how to keep guns out of schools, not let more guns into schools. there is a shootout and the good guy might be able to win. i should not have laughed when i said south carolina is allowing people to carry them in bars. it seems like a bad idea. the issue of at home, part of what we are hindered by, right, is a lack of research. we don't know how good the brainy laws have been or how bad the problem is. we are in a circumstance where only $100,000 out of a $6
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billion research budget from the federal budget goes to understanding firearms. >> you can look at john. it shows there's a correlation between less gun control and less crime. in fact, i think that is a reason not to say we shouldn't have guns in every place in every school, have states experiment with the policies within the scope of the protections of the second amendment. it may be in new york having guns in schools is not wise. but, in arizona, we have constitutional carry. you don't need a permit to carry or conceal a weapon. you can walk around anywhere with it. we don't have anywhere near the crime rate of new york. >> but you do have -- like so i hear you. then gabby giffords is standing there saying we must do something. >> there's been an effort to limit federal research on this
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issue. yes, we are hand strong with data being able to support some of these things. the evidence is clear. columbine, there was an armed guard at columbine high school. >> it didn't make a difference. we are going to take a quick break. i wonder if there's an 18th amendment issue going on here. that's next. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit.
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[ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto-insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. the late 19th century when violence in america moved concerned policymakers, something had nothing to do with guns. the conventional thinking of the day was the root of violence not at the end of a barrel but the bottom of a glass. the prohibition movement and consumption in excess to be a national curse. so much so that it would take nothing short of a
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constitutional amendment to rat kate the existence. prohibition did not succeed in prohibiting anything. it created more violence, not less. outlawing liquor gave rise to organized crime, a black market for bootlegging and gave alcohol a place in the american imagination. 1933, the 21st amendment repealed prohibition and left us with a lesson of the fallacy of banning our vices. yet, as we consider policies and certain kinds of guns, is this a lesson we need to relearn? 18th amendment is my challenge. get the guns, then whoops, that could turn into a mess. >> it could punish young black men living in urban areas where police have failed them. they are more likely to carry guns for self-protection. if you try to prohibit guns,
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innocent people trying to protect themselves and their family could get swept up in that and destroy their future. >> i don't think that carrying a gun on the south side makes you safer. i don't think that had pendleton been strapped she would be safer in the circumstance that killed her. on the other hand, i do agree these are the kind of laws, the way they are implemented have a way of sweeping up a population's effect. it is the other side of mayor bloomberg's law here. the other side is stop and frisk. >> we are assuming that sweeping up the guns means a punitive way of sweeping up the guns. i think that's a mistake. number one, i think it's important to understand black youth are 15% of the population in this country and 45% of the youth killed by guns. it is a significant issue for the black community. it's a significant issue and we have to get those guns and deal with it. it's important to understand they are coming in many different ways. no, gun regulation alone is not
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going to take care of that problem. i think it's important to be honest about that. at the same time, it doesn't mean going and getting the guns only can be done in a punitive way that increases the incarceration rates of black youth. there have been lots of efforts. some are about creating relationships between the police and communities differently. police, if they start to accept mediation and mediators into the process create a different relationship and create exchange programs for guns in places that have been effective in getting guns. teaching families not to exchange guns with other family members. that's a source like flipping 40% of the guns in a black community are coming from a family member or friend handing the gun over to somebody else. >> your brother, your cousin. sometimes the notion of you are going out in the world, it's a dangerous day, let me get you strapped. i wonder because the other piece of it, particularly, there's the pendleton and the newtown's and
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the trayvon martins. for most women, the likelihood of being killed by a firearm is intimate violence. i wonder if background checks are going get us there. we have to figure out something. that's where you are most likely to be victimized. >> there's two major systems with the background check system. millions of records are missing including records of people who are seriously mentally ill. in some cases people who are domestically violence offenders. the second problem is the gaping hole in the background check system that allows 40% of the guns to be sold without a background check altogether. right now, the system that exists for license sellers, 2 million people have been stopped from buying guns. >> you are not answering the question. >> here is my question, though. could we approach -- so, if
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prohibition is a lesson against going after handguns, are cigarettes a different model of how you -- you take a cultural practice and just kill it. just make it gross. cigarettes, at one point, i would have been doing this show smoking and you would have smoked anywhere and everywhere. you end up with important prohibitions in public space without making it illegal to own them. you just create a huge social cost to being a smoker. are there still smokers? of course. it doesn't have the same place in our culture or any of that because it's a public health matter. >> it's less restrictive than bans or background checks. an interesting thing of those who advocate is they often advocate in search of a problem. background checks are not going to eliminate the spousal abuse cause of violence. banning assault rifles is not
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going to stop 98% of the gun homicide that is happen. >> because they are handguns. >> there's a disengenuine nous to the advocates of gun control. i'll say this personally, in general, we rarely see a match between the evidence of what guns are doing and the regulation that's -- >> i'm not sure -- i hear what you are saying. it certainly feels con trained as though the things we have the ability to touch and go to and make policy about are in a limited space that somehow are not always connected to exactly the greatest spot of violence. >> i don't think the problem with this whole discussion right now is that number one, i think actually the evidence is not as clearly supportive of regulation doesn't work. and to the -- going back to the conversation we had earlier, actually the research that you cited has been challenged by other researchers. it goes back to your point
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earlier. we don't have enough information. i would say that it would be -- i do think it is a good common sense step to say if nothing else, register. put who the owners are. >> at least we know. >> check who they are, put it out in the open. it's not keeping people from having them. >> yeah. >> it's making sure we know who does and that we make sure they don't have a criminal record. that's actually the american public is strongly in favor of this, including nra members. this is not controversial. i think the other part of it is, if we actually look at what's happening with the trayvon mor tin, it's the way we teeth it up. he's probably dead today because somebody was afraid of him. >> if george zimmerman was afraid of him and not armed, it would have been ugly, but trayvon would probably be alive. we have to go but i suggest this book. reducing gun violence in america. evidence and analysis. it's not one-sided.
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it's a full of the only data we've got these days. more in just a moment. but first a preview of "weekendings with alex witt." >> soumds like a good book to get. on my list. the head of the daytona 500 speedway talked about the crash that injured more than two dozen spectators. you might be surprised about what he says about the people who were hurt. does america have blame-game fatigue? i can weigh in and say yes. a new report on florida and tea party effect. in office politics, david d dinkins shares a remarkable story about his friendship with arthur ashe. so cute hear him talking about him. >> he's lovely. where are the pandas? bring back the pandas. >> we have more pandas today. >> thank you, alex. up next, the naked truth about body image. what i really look like in the
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42% of first third grade girls want to be thinner. 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. and in the past decade, hospitalizations for eating disorders increased by 119% for children younger than 12. these distressing numbers come to us from the national eating disorders association who have set aside this week as national eating disorders awareness week. they point to the ongoing crisis of self-hate and self-abuse that impacts many young women. the causes of disorders are complicated. studies report more thap a third of those suffering from bulimia where sexual assault survivors, and ap rex ya is a condition that often impacts multiple
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generations in a single family. but with all the complex causes, there is nagging sense of inadequacy, a hard to shake feeling that i'm just not good enough as i am. one local organization in philadelphia, the renfew center foundation is using this week for the bare-faced and beautiful campaign, enkourming women to go without makeup tomorrow and post pictures of their scrubbed mugs on social media. there is no reason to think that wearing makeup is causally linked to eating disorders. makeup can be a perfectly healthy, playful, fun way to present yourself to the world, like big earrings or shoes. but makeup can become a mask that shields ourselves full of perceived imperfections that judges women harshly on how we look rather than what we think or how we contribute or who we are.
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the research has shown more than a quarter of girls who wear makeup rarely or never leave the house without it. so i decided to take the makeup off and share in this effort, because even baby steps towards self-acceptance, maybe even if adult women can show a little more acceptance of ourselves, we can be models of self-love for our daughters and our nieces and our students, so this is it. my almost 40-year-old face without any makeup, not even lip gloz. it's imperfect, inconsistent, and wonderfully mine. join me, take it all off and revel in the realness. tweet your picture and use the #barefacedbeauty. that's our show for today. thanks for watching. see you again next saturday 10:00 a.m. coming up, "weekends with alex witt."
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